Making business messages clear.
Its not just you versus your competition's messaging. But it is you versus people's conditioning.
C--Clarify your outcome.
Start by determining the purpose behind your message. Is it to convey information, change attitudes or influence behavior?
L--Link audiences' needs.
Think of how many emails, ads, headlines, website links, memos, meetings and cell phone texts you were exposed to today. People tune out unimportant messages. Cut through people's natural filters by ensuring your messages answer "Why should I even care?" "So what?" "What's in it for me?"
E--Ensure you're prepared.
Expert communicators, like Apple's Steve Jobs, plan ahead. Create three key messages at maximum. Anything beyond three is hard for others to remember. Pull together facts and statistics to back up your messages. Reinforce your messages with colorful examples because storytelling activates people's imaginations, learning and message retention.
The least complex messages stand out for people like fresh air at a mountain lake. Use simple words and concepts that are jargon-free and easy to understand. Ensure your messages get to the core of your desired outcome and audience's needs. Short-and-sweet messages rule the day in an age when people are increasingly exposed to 140-character, Twitter-style communications.
R--Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Studies show most people need to see or hear a message at least three times to retain it. Unfortunately, people's attention regularly drifts off. So make your key point right away. But, messages repeated the exact same way can be a turnoff. That's why having numerous examples and stories helps add variety and impact.
--Steve Zenofsky, assistant vice president and manager of public relations, FM Global